USPS Mailing Standards For Lithium Batteries

March 12th, 2021 Comments off

This article includes updates effective March 12, 2021

Shipping Regulations
When shipping lithium batteries, businesses must comply with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) standards for preparing shipments that contain lithium batteries.  The standards are in place to ensure the safe transportation of shipments that include these batteries and cells.  Shippers are responsible to comply with these regulations or risk fines.

Luckily the USPS shipping regulations align with DOT and PHMSA regulations—so as long as your shipment follows USPS regulations, you are in the clear.

USPS Standards for Domestic Shipments Containing Lithium Batteries

  • Each cell cannot contain more than 1 gram of lithium
  • Each battery cannot contain more than 2 grams of lithium
  • All packages must contain a complete return address
  • For non-installed batteries, your package must have a DOT-approved lithium battery mark (UN3090)

Standards for Shipping Installed Batteries

  • Installed batteries must be protected from short circuit
  • Devices with batteries must have protection to prevent accidentally being powered-on
  • Equipment must be cushioned

Shipping Lithium Batteries to International Destinations?

Lithium batteries can only be shipped internationally if they are installed in the equipment they operate.  Shipping carriers are not allowed to ship packages containing only lithium batteries or cells to international locations – they must be included inside a product.  No markings or documentation are allowed on these international mailpieces.  This rule applies to all international as well as APO/FPO/DPO destinations.

More info on the U.S. Postal Service’s Lithium Battery mailing standards is available on the USPS.com site.

USPS Priority Mail Increase 2021

February 26th, 2021 Comments off

USPS Priority Mail is a fast and economical shipping service that provides delivery to anywhere in the United States within two to three days. With Priority Mail, you can send packages up to 70 lbs. and enjoy free USPS tracking and insurance of up to $50.

Stamps.com customers enjoy discounts of up to 40 percent over the Post Office rate on all Priority Mail shipments! These discounts are automatically calculated by the Stamps.com software.

Priority Mail Rate Changes in 2021

Priority Mail rates saw an average increase of 3.6 percent from 2020 to 2021. A one-pound package traveling from Los Angeles to New York (Zone 8) currently costs $8.42, up from $8.25 in 2020.

USPS Priority Mail (Commercial Base Pricing)
INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 rates vs. 2020 rates
Mailpiece Weight20212020Change
1 lb. – Zone 8$8.80$8.42$0.38
2 lbs. – Zone 8$11.69$11.19$0.50
3 lbs. – Zone 8$16.45$15.74$0.71
4 lbs. – Zone 8$18.96$18.14$0.82
5 lbs. – Zone 8$21.96$21.01$0.95
6 lbs. – Zone 8$25.75$24.52$1.23
7 lbs. – Zone 8$28.93$27.55$1.38
8 lbs. – Zone 8$32.49$30.94$1.55
9 lbs. – Zone 8$36.12$34.40$1.72
10 lbs. – Zone 8$39.67$37.78$1.89

Rates for Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes and Flat Rate Envelopes also increased in 2021.

Priority Mail Flat Rate (Commercial Base Pricing)
INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 rates vs. 2020 rates
Mailpiece20212020Increase
Flat Rate Envelopes$7.40$7.15$0.20
Legal Flat Rate Envelope$7.70$7.45$0.20
Padded Flat Rate Envelope$8.00$7.75$0.20
Small Flat Rate Box$7.90$7.65$0.15
Medium Flat Rate Boxes$13.75$13.20$0.40
Large Flat Rate Boxes$19.30$18.30$0.70
APO/FPO/DPO Large Flat Rate Box$17.80$16.80$0.70

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes provide great cost savings over regular Priority Mail when your parcel is over two pounds. For example, a Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A that weighs five pounds for delivery to Zone 8 will cost $12.64 compared to $21.96 for regular Priority Mail.

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes (Commercial Base Pricing)
INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 rates vs. 2020 rates
Box A
Zone 1 & 2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
2021$7.83$8.04$8.34$9.01$10.89$11.63$12.64$23.37
2020$7.68$7.92$8.21$8.92$10.42$11.13$12.10$18.69
Change$0.15$0.12$0.13$0.09$0.47$0.50$0.54$4.68
Box B
Zone 1 & 2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
2021$8.23$8.64$9.56$12.36$17.50$20.10$22.90$42.98
2020$8.07$8.51$9.42$11.53$16.72$19.21$21.89$34.38
Change$0.16$0.13$0.14$0.83$0.78$0.89$1.01$8.60
Categories: USPS News Tags:

USPS 2021 Postage FAQ

January 29th, 2021 Comments off

When did the new USPS rates start?
The 2021 USPS postage rate increase went into effect on Sunday, January 24, 2021.

Is the price of a First Class Mail letter (1 oz.) increasing in 2021?
If you purchase postage at the Post Office, the rate will remain $0.55. If you print postage online (via Stamps.com), the Metered Mail rate will increase by one cent to $0.51 in 2021, a 4 cent discount off the Post Office price. Each additional ounce will increase by 5 cents to $0.20.


When printing postage online for First Class Mail letters, do I get a discounted rate?
Yes, customers who print postage using Stamps.com save 4 cents per letter, paying only $0.51 instead of $0.55 (Post Office rate) – a 7% savings! This discount is known as the “Metered Mail” rate and is available for all postage printed using an approved PC Postage/online postage vendor such as Stamps.com or through a postage meter.


Can I buy $0.51 “Metered Mail” rate postage stamps at the Post Office?
No, the “Metered Mail” rate $0.51 postage stamps can only be printed using an approved PC Postage/online postage vendor such as Stamps.com or through a postage meter. The “Metered Mail” $0.51 stamps cannot be purchased at the Post Office.

When printing shipping labels online, do I get a
discounted rate?

Yes, customers who print postage online automatically qualify for discounted shipping rates from the USPS. Customers who print USPS shipping labels can received discounts up to 40% when purchasing Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express or First Class Package Service. These discounted rates are automatically calculated when you print a shipping label inside the Stamps.com platform.

Can I print UPS shipping labels inside Stamps.com?
Yes! Along with USPS shipping services, Stamps. com now allows you to print labels for UPS shipping to fit your needs. Learn More about UPS Shipping in Stamps.com.

Has the USPS added new fees for larger/heavier packages in 2021?
Yes, the USPS has added an overweight/oversize surcharge of $100 for packages that exceed the 70 lb. maximum weight limitation or the 130-inch length plus girth maximum dimensional size limit.

Has USPS international shipping rates changed in 2021?
Yes, as with domestic rates, international rates have also increased in 2021. Additionally, the number of country groups has increased for USP international shipping services. Country groups are used to determine shipping rates for international packages based on the distance and country the package is traveling to. Priority Mail Express International country groups are increasing from 17 to 20, Priority Mail International country groups are increasing from 17 to 20, and First Class Package International Service country groups are increasing from 9 to 20 in 2021.

I am a Stamps.com customer. Do I need to take any actions to get the new rates after January 24, 2021?
No, if you are a Stamps.com customer, you do not need to take any action. Stamps.com will automatically update all USPS rates inside the software and web-based version.

Categories: USPS News Tags:

2021 USPS Postage Rate Increase Guide

January 22nd, 2021 Comments off

Starting January 24, 2021, the USPS will implement new rates for domestic and international mail classes as well as its Special Services. Want to learn more about these changes and how they may impact your mailing and shipping? We’ve created a new guide for our customers detailing the USPS rate and service change for each mail class. This Postage Rate Increase Guide

includes side-by-side rate comparisons so you know how much you’ll pay on and after January 24, whether you pay retail rates or discounted Stamps.com rates. This guide also includes general shipping suggestions and a Frequently Asked Questions page to help answer any questions you might have about this rate increase.

This guide includes 2021 postage rates for:

Categories: USPS News Tags:

USPS Announces 2021 Rate Increase for Shipping Services

November 18th, 2020 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed new postage rates to be implemented on Sunday, January 24, 2021, subject to approval by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Listed below are the highlights of the proposed 2021 USPS shipping rate increase for customers buying postage online for DOMESTIC SHIPPING services. For information about the previously announced mailing rates see the USPS 2021 Mailing Rates post.

Priority Mail Express – 2021 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 Rates vs. 2020 Rates

Weight
(lbs.)
Zones
1 & 2
Zone
3
Zone
4
Zone
5
Zone
6
Zone
7
Zone
8
Zone
9
0.5$0.00$0.00$0.95$1.10$1.15$1.35$1.55$2.2
1$0.00$0.00$1.10$1.25$1.35$1.60$1.80$2.55
2$0.00$0.00$1.20$1.50$1.55$1.85$2.10$2.95
3$0.00$0.00$1.35$1.65$1.85$2.10$2.35$3.35
4$0.00$0.00$1.45$1.90$2.05$2.35$2.65$3.75
5$0.00$0.00$1.60$2.05$2.25$2.60$2.90$4.10

Overall, prices for Priority Mail Express will increase by 2.5% (Commercial Base). A 1 lb. package going to Zone 8 using Priority Mail Express will cost $39.85 in 2021 compared to $38.05 (does not include holiday surcharge) in 2020.

2021 USPS Shipping Rate Increase Points of Interest:

  • Packages weighing up to 20 lbs. traveling to Zones 1 through 3 will not see an increase.
  • Rate increases for Zone 9 (U.S. territories) are increasing by 4.95% or more
  • Commercial Base and Commercial Plus pricing will be the same in 2021.
  • The maximum discount for Commercial Base based pricing compared to Post Office (Retail) prices is 17%
  • NEW: An overweight/oversize surcharge of $100 will be added for packages that exceed the 70 lb. maximum weight limitation or the 130 inch length plus girth maximum dimensional size limit. This $100 surcharge must be paid by the shipper before the package will be delivered.

Priority Mail Express Flat Rate – 2021 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 Rates vs. 2020 Rates

Mailpiece20212020Increase
Flat Rate Envelope$22.75$22.75$0.00
Legal Flat Rate Envelope$22.95$22.95$0.00
Padded Flat Rate Envelope$23.25$23.25$0.00

Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelopes will NOT increase rates in 2021. Prices for Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelopes will remain the same as 2020, ranging from $22.75 to $23.25 per envelope. 

Priority Mail – 2021 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 Rates vs. 2020 Rates

Weight
(lbs.)
Zones
1 & 2
Zone
3
Zone
4
Zone
5
Zone
6
Zone
7
Zone
8
Zone
9
1$0.14$0.11$0.11$0.08$0.36$0.37$0.38$2.85
2$0.15$0.12$0.12$0.09$0.45$0.47$0.5$4.36
3$0.16$0.12$0.13$0.10$0.55$0.61$0.71$5.92
4$0.16$0.13$0.14$0.10$0.64$0.72$0.82$7.13
5$0.16$0.13$0.14$1.06$0.73$0.83$0.95$8.29

Priority Mail will see an average increase of 3.6% (Commercial Base). A 1 lb. package going to Zone 8 using Priority Mail will increase $0.38, costing $8.80 in 2021 compared to $8.42 (does not include holiday surcharge) in 2020.

2021 USPS Shipping Rate Increase Points of Interest:

  • Rate increases are modest (2.04% or lower) for packages weighing up to 6 lbs. being delivered to Zones 1-5.  The one exception is Zone 5 at 5 lbs. which is seeing an increase of $1.06 (9.96%).
  • For all packages weighing up to 70 lbs. being delivered to Zones 6-8, the rate increases are significant at 4.50% or higher.
  • For packages weighing 7 lbs. or more, Zone 1-5 are seeing a significant increase of 3.96% or higher.
  • For packages weighing 11 lbs. or higher, the rate increase is a minimum of 7%.
  • Rate increases for Zone 9 (U.S. territories) are increasing by 24.99% or more
  • The maximum Priority Mail Commercial Base discount compared to Post Office (Retail) prices is 40%.
  • NEW: An overweight/oversize surcharge of $100 will be added for packages that exceed the 70 lb. maximum weight limitation or the 130 inch length plus girth maximum dimensional size limit. This $100 surcharge must be paid by the shipper before the package will be delivered.

Priority Mail Flat Rate – 2021 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 Rates vs. 2020 Rates

Mailpiece20212020Increase
Flat Rate Envelope$7.40$7.15$0.25
Legal Flat Rate Envelope$7.70$7.45$0.25
Padded Flat Rate Envelope$8.00$7.75$0.25
Small Flat Rate Box$7.90$7.65$0.25
Medium Flat Rate Box$13.75$13.20$0.55
Large Flat Rate Box$19.3$18.30$1.00
APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Box$17.8$16.80$1.00

Shipping rates for Priority Mail Flat Rate products will increase in 2021. The popular Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded Envelope will increase $0.25 to $8.00 in 2021 compared to $7.75 (does not include holiday surcharge) in 2020. Rates for the Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box will increase $0.55 to $13.75 from $13.20 currently. Rates for the Large Flat Rate Box will increase $1.00, to $19.30 from $18.30 (does not include holiday surcharge) in 2020.

2021 USPS Shipping Rate Increase Points of Interest:

  • Rate increases gain in cost as the Flat Rate Box increases in size.
  • Small Flat Rate boxes are increasing only $0.25 (3.5%) while the Large Flat Rate Box is increasing $1.00 (5.46%).

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes – 2021 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 Rates vs. 2020 Rates

Box
Type
Zones
1 & 2
Zone
3
Zone
4
Zone
5
Zone
6
Zone
7
Zone
8
Zone
9
A$0.15$0.12$0.13$0.09$0.47$0.50$0.54$4.68
B$0.16$0.13$0.14$0.83$0.78$0.89$1.01$8.60

Rates for Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes will be increasing for all shipping zones in 2021. A 5 lb. package going to Zone 8 using the Regional Rate Box A will increase by $0.54 to $12.64 in 2021 compared to $12.10 (does not include holiday surcharge) in 2020.  Regional Rate Box A is priced at a 2 lb. regular Priority Mail rate, yet can contain products that weigh up to 15 lbs.

2021 USPS Shipping Rate Increase Points of Interest:

  • For Regional Rate Box A, the closer shipping zones (Zones 1-5) are seeing a modest 1-2% increase.
  • At Zone 6, the rate increase jumps significantly to 4.46% or higher
  • Rate increases Zone 9 (U.S. territories) are increasing by 25%

First Class Package Service – 2021 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 Rates vs. 2020 Rates

Mailpiece WeightZones
1 & 2
Zone
3
Zone
4
Zone
5
Zone
6
Zone
7
Zone
8
Zone
9
1 ounce$0.27$0.27$0.28$0.28$0.29$0.30$0.31$0.31
2 ounces$0.27$0.27$0.28$0.28$0.29$0.30$0.31$0.31
3 ounces$0.27$0.27$0.28$0.28$0.29$0.30$0.31$0.31
4 ounces$0.27$0.27$0.28$0.28$0.29$0.30$0.31$0.31
5 ounces$0.25$0.26$0.26$0.26$0.19$0.17$0.18$0.18
6 ounces$0.25$0.26$0.26$0.26$0.19$0.17$0.18$0.18
7 ounces$0.25$0.260.26$0.26$0.19$0.17$0.18$0.18
8 ounces$0.25$0.26$0.26$0.26$0.19$0.17$0.18$0.18
9 ounces$0.11$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.20$0.21$0.22$0.22
10 ounces$0.11$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.20$0.21$0.22$0.22
11 ounces$0.11$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.20$0.21$0.22$0.22
12 ounces$0.11$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.20$0.21$0.22$0.22
13 ounces$0.15$0.15$0.15$0.15$0.26$0.27$0.28$0.28
14 ounces$0.15$0.15$0.15$0.15$0.26$0.27$0.28$0.28
15 ounces$0.15$0.15$0.15$0.15$0.26$0.27$0.28$0.28
15.999 ounces$0.15$0.15$0.15$0.15$0.26$0.27$0.28$0.28

Overall rates for First Class Package Service will increase by 6.50%. A 15.999 ounce package for First Class Package Service traveling to zone 8 will increase $0.28 to $5.98 in 2021 from $5.70 (does not include holiday surcharge) in 2020.

2021 USPS Shipping Rate Increase Points of Interest:

  • First Class Package Service is seeing increases range from $0.11 (2.8% increase) to $0.31 (9.75% increase)
  • The maximum First Class Package Service Commercial Base discount compared to Post Office (Retail) prices is 28%.
  • First Class Package Service remains the best deal across all shipping carriers in the U.S.
  • NEW: An overweight/oversize surcharge of $100 will be added for packages that exceed the 70 lb. maximum weight limitation or the 130 inch length plus girth maximum dimensional size limit. This $100 surcharge must be paid by the shipper before the package will be delivered.

Parcel Select Ground – 2021 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 Rates vs. 2020 Rates

Weight
(lbs.)
Zones
1 & 2
Zone
3
Zone
4
Zone
5
Zone
6
Zone
7
Zone
8
Zone
9
1$0.09$0.06$0.06-$0.02$0.06$0.07$0.03$0.03
2$0.05$0.02$0.02-$0.06$0.00-$0.03-$0.10-$0.10
3$0.01-$0.03-$0.02-$0.05-$0.10-$0.19-$0.34-$0.34
4$0.01-$0.02-$0.01-$0.05-$0.01-$0.08-$0.23-$0.23
5$0.01-$0.02-$0.01$0.91$0.08$0.03-$0.10-$0.10
6$0.01-$0.02-$0.01-$0.01$0.27$0.27$0.18$0.18
7$0.04$0.09$0.09$0.34$0.12-$0.04-$0.12-$0.12
8$0.04$0.11$0.16$0.39$0.22$0.08$0.05$0.05
9$0.07$0.12$0.18$0.44$0.32$0.19$0.22$0.22
10-$0.01$0.04$0.09$0.36$0.13-$0.10-$0.16-$0.16

Overall rates for Parcel Select Ground will increase by 1.3% in 2021. However, many low weight packages are actually declining in 2021.  A 2 lb. package going to Zone 8 will DECREASE by $0.10 to $10.79 in 2021 from $10.89 (does not include holiday surcharge) in 2020.

2021 USPS Shipping Rate Increase Points of Interest:

  • Lower weights and closer shipping zones are seeing rates DECREASE by as much as $0.34 cents (3 lbs., zone 8)
  • Heavier packages traveling to farther shipping zones (Zones 6-8) are seeing big increases.  A package weighing 70 lbs. traveling to Zone 7 is seeing a $9.12 increase.
  • NEW: An overweight/oversize surcharge of $100 will be added for packages that exceed the 70 lb. maximum weight limitation or the 130 inch length plus girth maximum dimensional size limit. This $100 surcharge must be paid by the shipper before the package will be delivered.

Media Mail – 2021 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2021 Rates vs. 2020 Rates

Weight
(lbs.)
20212020Increase
1$2.89$2.8$0.09
2$3.45$3.33$0.12
3$4.01$3.86$0.15
4$4.57$4.39$0.18
5$5.13$4.92$0.21
6$5.69$5.45$0.24
7$6.25$5.98$0.27
8$6.81$6.52$0.29
9$7.37$7.06$0.31
10$7.93$7.60$0.33

Media Mail rates will increase by an average of 3.57% in 2021. A 1 lb. package traveling to Zone 8 will increase $0.09 cents to $2.89 in 2021 compared to $2.80 in 2020.

2021 USPS Shipping Rate Increase Points of Interest:

  • The rate increases get higher as Media Mail package weights go up.  While 1 lb. rates are going up by $0.09, a 45 lb. package is increasing by $1.03 and a 70 lb. package is increasing by $1.53
  • NEW: An overweight/oversize surcharge of $100 will be added for packages that exceed the 70 lb. maximum weight limitation or the 130 inch length plus girth maximum dimensional size limit. This $100 surcharge must be paid by the shipper before the package will be delivered.

Stamps.com Will Automatically Update to the New USPS Rates on January 24, 2021

Once the rates are approved by the PRC, Stamps.com will automatically update all USPS rates inside the software and web-based version (Stamps.com Online) on Sunday, January 24, 2021. If you are a Stamps.com customer, no additional actions are needed and you will AUTOMATICALLY see the 2021 USPS rates in the platform.

Follow the Stamps.com blog for more USPS news, including year over year comparisons for USPS International Shipping rates.

Categories: USPS News Tags:

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